Hey! It's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Chris Lam.
Who are you?
Hey all, I'm Chris Lam. I'm a gay Taiwanese-Cantonese American dude. I went to UC Berkeley and majored in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Didn't work out very well, as you can see. But I think it was for the best.
What are you?
Single. Oh sorry, that's not what you meant?
Well, I'm a Sailor Scout and Waterbender, first and foremost. I actually have the same birthday as Sailor Mercury. I'm also a gamer, performer, YouTuber, social justice advocate, and a video producer for BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. I think I'm just your run-of-the-mill dream chaser. And every Asian parent's nightmare.
Where are you?
In your head, baby. And I'm tired from running around in it.
Well, right now I'm sitting at my desk in my apartment with milk and dark chocolate milanos like a grown-up.
During the day time, I'm sitting at my desk at BuzzFeed. I rarely go out because I'm an introvert. Oh, wait no. I will go out for food. Specifically for kick-ass boba and authentic Asian food.
Where are you from?
Irvine, California. I always qualify this by saying I spent four years in the Bay for university since Irvine sounds so boring. Don't get me wrong though, Irvine has amazing Taiwanese and Korean food. But that's basically it.
My mom is Taiwanese and my dad is from Hong Kong. And they both majored in engineering. Go figure. We've definitely had our differences, especially in me following my dreams to be a creative, but I love them with all my heart. And I'm quite sure I got my knack for being shady and quick from my parents. Like...my parents are low-key super funny and cool. I remember many times in the last year where they made me laugh harder than most of my comedian friends.
What do you do?
I make content for the internet! And I try to remind myself to be thankful every day that I get to do this for a living. And for a company with such a huge presence in society, no less.
I've definitely found myself usually making videos about identities, whether it be gay identity, Asian identity, or maybe about an identity that is not my own. I mean the entire reason I want to be in entertainment is because I grew up not seeing people that I could relate to on television and film. I gravitated towards YouTube because it was a space where I could constantly expose myself to talented Asian artists like Lilly Singh, Natalie Tran, and Wong Fu. It was a space that made me feel cool for being Asian. So I work to continue that legacy and make as many people as I can feel understood and represented.
What are you all about?
I'm currently focusing on using the platforms I have to fuck up racism in its many forms. One of my favorite things to do is to ruin pop culture for people by pointing out problematic parts of it. Prime example would be my video of Native Americans trying "Indian" Halloween costumes.
I also find so much fulfillment in elevating the voices of other disenfranchised groups, because I get to learn from those voices and be a better human being. I'm definitely all about continuously learning about different experiences that aren't my own because I want to be the best advocate I can be. And it's so easy for Asians, as the model minority, to be bad allies, so I'm trying to fight against that. I'm trying to use the privilege I have to amplify other voices and encourage other to do the same. I'm convinced that systemic racism would not stand a chance of surviving if us people of color supported each other more. We're all fighting against the same thing: white supremacy. Though, I understand that it's important to know each other's differences to be better united.
But I also love being goofy and just working with people that I vibe with. I'm still working on a balance of making plain ol' fun content and social justice pieces since each type of content fulfills me in a different ways.
What makes you angry?
Ha. Just read my Twitter.
White people denying that white privilege exists, white people derailing race conversations by saying "not all white people," white people calling me oppressive towards white people, people having the nerve to tell POCs to be less angry about oppression because it spreads "negativity" or "pits two races against each other," white people that are "tired of talking about race," white people asking for a white history month, white people writing POCs off as the PC police, and people denying hard facts and stats about racial inequalities with jobs, casting, housing, and police brutality.
Also just traditional media in general: non-intersectional white feminists like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift, celebrities like Selena Gomez and Katy Perry culturally appropriating things and not apologizing, Matt Damon explaining to Effie Brown about diversity, when white people like Rooney Mara and Emma Stone are cast as people of color, and the way only white people are humanized by news outlets.
Small things like crappy boba and overpriced sushi piss me off too, but they pale in comparison to the way prideful ignorance makes me feel. My whole thing is: you can literally look up everything on Google. If these people would just look this shit up, they would understand why I'm angry about all the things I'm angry about. All of them. There are literally so many resources like the Another Round podcast, MTV's Decoded, Everyday Feminism, Angry Asian Man, and marinashutup, to name a few. Instead, they avoid educating themselves, but still think they have a point. I'm just like "What have you actually done lately to stop racism? Nothing besides calling me racist? Then sit your ass down."
And these are just a few things that make me angry. I didn't even touch on rape culture, misogyny within the LGBT community, and anti-trans sentiments.